Evolve gets a new map and hunter…does anyone still care?

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JAck

In the last month, Evolve, the much-lauded asymmetric multiplayer game has shed nearly 6% of its already meagre, diminished player base. At least it has for the PC version, according to Steam-tracking service Steamcharts. With an average number of daily players now hovering around 396 players a month, it’s not a stretch to call the game dead.

And yet, Turtle Rock soldiers on. This week, they’ve released a new batch of content – including a new hunter (which players need to pay for) and a new map (which, as with all maps, is free). Title update 5 brings with it a new Trapper, named Jack.

“Evolve’s newest Hunter, Jack (Trapper), joins the team with an all-new set of abilities and weapons. Jack, who refers to himself as The Jackal, scrounged the industrial ruins to build his trapper arsenal. To pack a punch, Jack dual wields a pair of pistols, enabling him to reload one pair while firing the other. To track and trap the Monster, Jack uses a hacked Survey Satellite to locate enemies and his Repulsor gloves to stop the Monster in its tracks.”

The newest map, Murder Pits, has a bunch of challenges contained within its arena-focused layout.

  • ‘Jail’ houses dangerous wildlife, freed by doors that open randomly;
  • ‘Outhouse’ is a straightforward arena encouraging control of the high ground;
  • ‘Quarry’ carves out a tall, narrow environment stacked with rooms;
  • ‘Saloon’ features a series of rooms surrounding a deadly Tyrant pool;
  • ‘Slaughter House’ contains two chambers separated by a wall that can only be opened by the Monster.

The Title update also features Hunt 2.0, which is a fancy word for a rejiggered matchmaking service. Here’s what it adds and changes:

  • You can now play exclusively as Monster or Hunter;
  • You will never join a match in progress;
  • Improved matchmaking that incorporates skill level;
  • Revamped leaderboards that divide players among five divisions, with tiered rankings within each division

Title Update 5 is also the biggest balancing update the game has received, details of which you can read in the game’s Patch 5.0 Notes. For the 3 of you who still regularly play the game though, here’s are the core changes coming to the gameplay:

Core Gameplay Balance Improvements

This is one of the biggest balance patches Evolve has ever had. Like many other features this update, we’ve worked hard to address feedback and develop creative new ways to enhance gameplay in Evolve. This update, the meta is Evolving (grooaaannn)

  • One of Evolve’s biggest balance patches with changes to Monster abilities and Hunter jetpacks
  • Improved, fast-deploying domes!
  • Major changes to some of the Community favorites such as Bucket and Torvald coupled with an improved Behemoth.
  • These changes to the core gameplay will give both Hunters and Monsters a whole new (and more balanced) world to hunt in.

It seems like a nice update – but I have to wonder if it’ll actually be appreciated by enough people. My own copy of the game sits on my shelf, gathering dust – and I have no intentions, frankly, of ever playing it again. While it was certainly fun, balance issues and the need to play with a dedicated team all the time made playing Evolve a chore. I think the asymmetrical aspect of it didn’t help either – and was probably a bigger detriment to the game’s longevity than the teamwork required. Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six do just fine, after all. Playing as the monster is a terribly solitary experience, and being the end boss just wasn’t as much of a draw as anyone at Turtle Rock or 2K had hoped.

Last Updated: August 13, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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